Aidy Boothroyd has defended the Cobblers’ training methods after they were criticised on social networking site Twitter by defender David Artell, who left the club earlier this week.
During Town’s 2-0 defeat at Milton Keynes Dons, in which Ishmel Demontagnac became the fourth player in as many games to be shown the red card, Artell posted: “Shock NTFC have had another player sent off. 4 in 4 away this season! Get away with murder tackles in training= red cards.”
While Boothroyd admits the dismissals his team have sustained this season are a concern, he has no plans to change the way his squad trains, with the emphasis set to remain on a high intensity and a fierce sense of competition.
“As far as tackles in training are concerned, wherever I’ve been the players have always worn shinpads in training because I want training to be as close to a match as possible,” he said.
“It’s very difficult to turn that intensity on and off like a light switch, you have to be competitive because if you’re soft with each other you can’t expect any favours on a match day.
“I don’t necessarily agree with the comment.”
Artell went on to clarify his comments in a series of tweets exchanged with supporters, in which he confirmed there had been no confrontation with Boothroyd and that Northampton are “lucky to have him”.
He also shed some light on his reasons for leaving the club, citing the three-hour commute from his home in Chester and the time spent away from his family as being the primary ones.
Boothroyd, too, insists there is no animosity between the two and was keen to draw a light-hearted line under recent events.
“I think it was one of the fastest retractions I’ve ever seen,” he said. “I think he almost did a Michael Jackson moonwalk at one point.
“That’s probably because we’re paying his wages for his period of time and he’s probably had a bit of a panic.
“I don’t have any animosity towards any player that has left the club. Sometimes you make mistakes but if you get more right than you do wrong then you stay in employment and the club progresses.
“I’m not annoyed about it, Dave did well for us and we wish him well for the future.”